Four wonderful years

Looking back on my emails, I realized that on this date four years ago Reilly and Ryan came into my life. The date is doubly important because it’s also my father’s birthday and he is turning 90 today!

I had intended this site to document their lives, but for one reason or another it didn’t work out that way. Not sure if that will change going forward, but I wanted to mark the occasion here regardless.

They’ve grown up so much in the last four years. They each have very distinct personalities. Reilly is somewhat aloof, but if you get her in the right mood she responds very affectionately to rubs under the chin and behind her ear. And we’ve also developed an odd ritual of brushing. There are times when she lets me brush her while she’s on top of the bookcase. However, her favorite method is for me to follow her around grooming her as she rubs against one corner and then another or up against most any object in her path.

As a kitten, she had difficulties adapting to the litter box. While it looked for a while like that was in the past, shortly after our move back to Boston she returned to her old habits. Fortunately, aside from a couple of early incidents, she’s ok with using the box to pee in. It’s just when it comes to poo that she prefers the space beside the box. We’ve tried a number of things to get her back into the box, but finally resigned ourselves to the fact that she’s not going to change – and it’s a whole lot easier to clean up poo from beside the box rather than pee.

Ryan continues to be my lovable goofball. Lorraine gave the cats a bunch of foil balls for Christmas and they quickly became Ryan’s favorite toys. Reilly will play with them on occasion, but she’s above all that chasing around for a piece of foil. Ryan on the other hand will start patting these things around the house at all hours. He will gladly smash into walls in order to catch his prey.

But Ryan also has his challenging side. As a kitten, he had an unfortunate experience at the vet when being treated for a ripped out nail. The dreaded cone of shame was too tight and the bandage on his paw was decidedly unpopular with him. That was the first time we experienced what I call Exorcist Ryan. He made noises that would be perfectly at home coming out of the possessed child in that movie. That Ryan arose again during the move and comes out (albeit in abated form) whenever Reilly gets back from a mani pedi at the vet. I feel bad for the poor guy, but he’s also a bit difficult to handle at these time so I’m glad when they pass.

The two cats have adapted well to life in the suburbs. They have a staff of three waiting on them each day – complete with posted feeding schedules so no meal goes unfed. They are much closer to the wildlife here. The picture window provides a great view of the local bird and squirrel population, to say nothing of the occasional kid passing by. Unfortunately, their love affair with the steps waned after a while. I was hoping it would be a great source of exercise for them, but nowadays they don’t go charging up the stairs every time someone heads upstairs. Of course if they thought they had a chance of sneaking into Dad’s room that might just be the incentive they need to get racing up there again.

So all in all it’s been a remarkable four years. I’ve gone from a person who never had a pet and who was afraid of cats to someone who feels something is off if she doesn’t have a big, somewhat dopey cat beside her at night (I’m sure you can guess which one sleeps with me).

I want to thank Cecile and all the folks at Bronx Tails for  bringing these bundles of joy into my life. I can’t imagine not having them here with me.

Reilly and Ryan on their first day at my place Jan 2014



A new year, a new start

Since my move back to the Boston area I’ve been so busy with work (up to three jobs at a time) that I’ve hardly had time for other things, including this blog. But I want to turn things around in the new year and kick start this blog.

Reilly and Ryan have settled in comfortably. Each has their own preferred spots – Reilly likes the height of the divider and the bookcase, as well as the heat of the spot near the heater behind the couch, while Ryan loves to cuddle in my bed or to nab a spot on one of the kitchen chairs (we keep them pushed in so he doesn’t end up on the table), but when the chance presents itself, he’s off exploring any closet that is open.

They are under the impression that they rule the house, and they probably do. Unlike many cats who get dry food left out all day or meals in the morning and at night, they get small meals several times a day. It seemed like a good way to parcel out the food in a house where there’s almost always someone home and wandering in and out of the kitchen. We tried to keep up the twice a day feedings of larger portions, but they turned their poor, pathetic, starving looks on us and ended up with far too many treats. So now they get a bit of food about every six hours. It hasn’t made them stop trying to turn on the charm, but it’s made it easier for us to say no.

Here are some shots from the past year:

Back in NYC, you likely would have seen more pictures of Reilly than Ryan. But since Ryan spends more time in my bedroom, he gets the bulk of the shots lately.

Hope you like them. I’ll try to get back to updating this on a regular basis.

Ryan has a thing about refrigerators

He’s a curious little guy. Makes me nervous at times. When I lived in NYC, my fridge was often fairly empty. So there was lots of room for him to jump in. He only did that once and it was enough to freak me out. I got very careful about making sure that never happened again. Here at home, the fridge as enough stuff in it that he can only sniff. The chicken was especially enticing.

My babies

These two definitely act like siblings. They can be all lovey dovey one moment, like this, and then they are hissing at each other because one of them intruded on the other’s alone time under the bed. Either way, they are my babies.

2016-01-26 12.36.20.jpg

Yeah, once again, it’s been a while

But one of my New Year’s resolutions is to be better at updating this site. Tonight I just have time for a quick post, but I’ll be going back through some of the images I have to add. Here are two from this morning which help explain why it’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning. Wouldn’t you stay in bed if you have these two lovely companions?

I know, it’s been a while

As I mentioned last time, the three of us packed up (with my sister Lorraine’s help) and moved to Massachusetts back in March. It turned out to be a bit of a traumatic move. We put the cats in the bathroom when the movers were there, but that wasn’t enough to block out the sound of the tape that the movers used. Hours and tens of rolls of tape later, Ryan was completely stressed out. Took a lot of effort to get him into the cat carrier. The drive home didn’t help. By the time we got most of my stuff in the storage unit and the rest in the house, he was a very unhappy cat. Hissing and snarling at everyone. So we put a litter box in my bedroom along with some food and a blanket from the old place. Reilly and I slept in the other room for three nights before he was back to his old self.

They’ve both adapted quite well to living in a house rather than an apartment. They got to experience stairs for the first time. They love stairs, and the fact that there are closed rooms at the top that they might be able to sneak into only increases the joy. Whenever anyone goes upstairs, they follow behind just in case.

We’ve had to institute a few new rules in the house. No more leaving chairs pulled out at the kitchen table. If you forget that rule, Ryan and Reilly will definitely be on top of the table exploring – and potentially stealing pens, eyeglasses, etc. We also have to be more careful with the doors to outside and the basement. I’m more worried about them getting out than getting downstairs, but there are lots of ways for them to get in trouble in the basement so they haven’t been allowed down there.

They’ve taken over the living room and spend their nights out there with my Dad. Ryan loves Dad’s leather chair and Dad often doesn’t have the heart to shoo him off (he’s a real softie). I get them first thing in the morning – in large part due to the fact that they want to be fed.

Otherwise their days are spent looking at the birds, squirrels, and kids out front. They are quite content.

The Neighborhood Watch

The Neighborhood Watch

Happy Cats

Happy Cats

Getting to Know Ryan

I’m writing this on the train back from Boston to NYC. I’ve been home for the weekend visiting the family. I wasn’t able to make the trip at Christmas because all my cat sitters were heading home for the holidays as well. So my family decided to do a Christmas in January. My friend Bella has been taking care of the cats while I’m away and it has been amusing, sometimes worrisome, to see her tweets and texts about them. And of course Ryan is front and center in them. Reilly’s contribution seems to be limited to two litter box misses and a new habit of butt slamming Bella at the sink.

Ryan is the one who sounds the alarm in the pre-dawn hours that it is time that food be put out. If you are lucky he waits until 6am for that, but he’s been known to start at 5! He stole one of Bella’s socks and tried to make off with her glasses case (fortunately no glasses inside). He’s given her the poor pitiful me look later in the day when he wants food but it’s too early for dinner. And he had the nerve to hiss at her. Now that is something that I don’t allow. We’ll have to put a stop to that if it continues when I get home.

But for all of that, he’s a truly lovable cat. If you are lying down on the couch he’ll come over to snuggle. And he’ll put up with me picking me up even though I know he’s not a fan of it. He does have his special spot on my desk chair, but he also spends a bit of time on the couch with me, even when I’m not lying down. And to see him on the “haunted” loveseat is truly hilarious.